April 2, 2017 / 2:59 AM / 7 months ago

China says U.S. trade orders should respect international rules

BEIJING (Reuters) - China called on the United States to respect international trade rules and improve cooperation and dialogue in reaction to two new orders by U.S. President Donald Trump calling for an investigation into trade abuses.

FILE PHOTO: A combination of file photos showing Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) in London's Heathrow Airport, October 19, 2015 and (R) U.S. President Donald Trump listening to questions from reporters in New York, U.S., January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Mike Segar/File Photos

Any U.S. trade enforcement measures should comply with generally accepted international trade rules and differences between the two countries should be handled properly, an unidentified spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a speech on Saturday.

“China is willing to cooperate with the United States on a basis of equality and mutual benefit,” the spokesperson said in the speech released on the ministry’s website.

Trump signed executive orders on Friday aimed at investigating possible abuses causing large U.S. trade deficits and stopping import duty evasion.(nL2N1H8056)

He will host Chinese President Xi Jinping this Thursday and Friday at his Mar-a-Lago retreat in Florida, where trade is expected to be a central talking point as well as North Korea and China’s ambitions in the South China Sea.

Trump, who has taken a harsh stance on China’s trade practices, last week tweeted that the meeting “will be a very difficult one”, citing massive trade deficits and American job losses.

China maintains that the China-U.S. trade imbalance is mostly the result of differences between the economic structures and development stages of the two countries.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Kim Coghill

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